Our skin is an incredible organ, one that rejuvenates itself every 28 days (give or take) with fresh cells, but what about caring for this vital organ over time? How can we slow down the signs of our skin’s aging in our 20s, 30s, and beyond? Turns out, there are some very simple and healthy ways to slow down aging with skin care and lifestyle changes.
How does the skin age and is there a way to slow the aging process?
Our skin, when we are young, is plump, hydrated, and full of “bounce”. As we get older, we lose this springy feel in our skin, but what causes that? Aging of the skin is a natural process by which the collagen and elastin that keep our skin looking firm and youthful begin to decline, beginning the aging process. Cell production and cell quality also diminish over time resulting in wrinkles. These factors unfortunately are out of our control, and while diet and supplements can slow down the process, they won’t stop it completely.
Fortunately, modern skincare science has made us more aware of how our skin ages, and skincare formulators are on top of that in the products that they are producing. Hyaluronic acid is a good example of this. It is naturally in our skin when we are younger and slows down tremendously as we age. Many skincare labels are increasingly using and marketing that they are using hyaluronic acid in their serums and creams.
Along with collagen and elastin, these three factors can be partially responsible for early signs of skin aging, all somewhat beyond our control: pollution, sun exposure, and smoking (either your own or 2nd-hand.) We’ll talk about how you can address these. Let’s look at some basic things you should be doing now to keep your skin younger, longer.
Here are 20 easy ways to reduce wrinkles and slow down the aging process, split up into lifestyle and health tips, then specific actions you can take in your skin care routine for aging signs.
Lifestyle, Habit & Diet Factors
1. Stop smoking (It’s #1 for a reason)
2. Always wear sunscreen whether it’s cloudy or sunny and don’t sunbake. 15 minutes a day is healthy for vitamin D absorption, but more than that requires sunscreen and a hat.
3. Hydrate your skin by drinking about 8 glasses of water a day. Herbal teas count too!
4. Use skin care products that contain antioxidants, and contain zero petrochemical-based ingredients (which can prematurely age skin). Also use a product with alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) two times a week for cell turnover.
5. Try to reduce stress by ensuring you give yourself time for things you enjoy, such as reading, exercising, getting outside, or meditating. To start, set a goal of 15 minutes a day for this, then 20 minutes, with the goal of 30 minutes at the very least for you-time!
6. Reduce alcohol consumption. Overindulging can put enormous strain on your system and also dehydrates your skin. These two factors will accelerate wrinkles forming.
7. Eat healthily by incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
8. Sleep at least 8 hours every night.
9. Eat foods rich in omega fatty acids, such as chia, hemp, or brussels sprouts, at least three times a week. These are great vegan alternatives to salmon, which is known for similar benefits. These foods are great for the skin and general health.
10. Check with your doctor about taking supplements to assess whether you should be boosting your diet with key nutrients, as nutritional deficiencies can manifest in your skin.
11. Avocado is one of the healthiest things to eat and also use on your face. You can squish an avocado and apply it as a face mask, eat one half daily for “healthy fats”. A low-fat diet is not your friend when you want to keep your skin plump... but it has to be the right kind of fat!
Slow Aging Skin Care Tips
12. Moisturize the skin on your face twice daily.
13. Use an eye serum for the delicate skin around the eyes nightly.
14. Facial masks with AHA, clay, or fruit acids help remove the build-up of dead cells that can increase the appearance of wrinkles, try this weekly.
15. Use natural skin care products that will nourish your skin and give it lots of vitamins and minerals to help it stay fresh and healthy.
16. Jojoba oil (which is really a plant wax) and camellia oil both resemble the skin’s natural oils. These are two oils that you should look for in your beauty products to help keep wrinkles at bay.
17. Take vitamin C supplements and use products that contain vitamin C, it will help boost your collagen. Vitamin C is photosensitive, so it is best used in evening products.
18. Start a regular anti-aging skin care routine in your 20s. Prevention is easier now than later! Get in the habit of a daily routine, and always remove your makeup and put on an oil or moisturizer before sleep.
19. Aloe is known worldwide for its beneficial abilities. Make a fresh aloe mask weekly. Simply apply the aloe to your face and neck and leave for 30 minutes then rinse off. This mask will "feed" your skin with nutrients, antioxidants, and humectants, all powerhouse ingredients for making your skin happy.
20. A soothing way to help achieve a wrinkle-free face is to lie on your back with your knees elevated by placing a pillow or cushion beneath them. If you can, try not to sleep on your face, or consider in a silk pillowcase (which will have added benefits for your hair!).
Along with these basic suggestions to slow down aging with proper skin care, we suggest trying an elimination diet. Of course, we are not doctors, but we do know what helps in finding potential food-related skin stressors from our own experience with sensitive skin. Many people find good results by eliminating the most common allergens in their diets, like citrus, eggs, and dairy (if you eat them), gluten, soy, chocolate, grains, and nuts. You can do some research on the Whole 30 diet or elimination diets. The purpose of these diets is to remove all possible allergens for 30 days.
Eat lots of vegetables, drink water, and then begin by adding one of these foods back into your diet. Wait a week or two before adding another.
Please consult a doctor before doing any changes to your health, diet, or medicines. This is just food for thought, literally!
Oftentimes inflammation comes from an allergic reaction and can settle in the digestive system, and inflammation can exacerbate signs of aging.
Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Regimen
Make sure that the items that you choose to add to your daily routine are matching the ethos above. Keeping them vegan, clear of petrochemicals (avoid skincare ingredients ending in -20, or -60, or look up other petroleum products online that are common in skincare). Set a routine of cleansing, a toner if you wish, a water-based serum if you wish, a moisturizer, and an eye serum or light cream. If you prefer facial oils, you can use those instead of moisturizer, or on top of it, if you use both. Your sunscreen goes on top of all of this in the morning. Be sure to cleanse and repeat with a moisturizer at night. Always remove your makeup, and try to avoid using products that contain alcohol as well, which can over-dry your skin.
We hope this starts you on your way to keeping your skin looking and feeling youthful! And remember, smiling is one of the best and most uplifting ways to look young, even if you have wrinkles already!
Bye for now!
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